A Sketchy Christmas

Sketching at the Claremont Hotel, ink & watercolor

Sketching at the Claremont Hotel, ink & watercolor

The Claremont Hotel in Berkeley is all decked out for the holidays and a good place to sketch when it’s cold outside. We met there Tuesday night and had our choice of comfy places to sketch. That’s Sonia in the sketch above, drawing a piano that is just off to her left.

I found a spot near their fancier bar and restaurant with another grand piano where (I thought) a talented jazzy piano player was entertaining the diners. I really liked the way he riffed on holiday music (although his repertoire seemed not too extensive as he began repeating the songs after about an hour).

Outside the bar at the Claremont

Outside the bar at the Claremont

At the end of the evening I walked into the barĀ  to thank the piano player, having imagined what it must be like playing holiday music in a bar, night after night, the same tunes over and over, while people celebrated. The bench was empty! The piano was playing itself, the keys popping up and down on their own.

I liked both of these sketches more as ink drawings before I overworked them with paint. I’ve been really tired this week which often leads to mucking around when I should be moving on to the next page.

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